Cablegate: Hicks, Vili, A075169500; Nz Country Clearance for Escorting
DE RUEHWL #0608/01 2330423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210423Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEADRO/HQ ICE DRO WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4593
RUEHAP/AMEMBASSY APIA 0379
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0618
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000608
ICE HQ FOR RUTH JACKS
E.O. 12985: N/A
TAGS: OTRA ASEC NZ
SUBJECT: HICKS, VILI, A075169500; NZ COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR ESCORTING
OFFICERS FERNANDEZ AND CHERRY; AUGUST 30-31, 2007
REF: ICE 201305Z AUG 07
1. (SBU) Embassy Wellington and Consulate General Auckland welcome
and grant country clearance to ICE agents Michael Fernandez and
Michael Cherry for travel to Auckland, New Zealand during the time
period August 30-31, 2007. The purpose of this visit is an overnight
return from escorting alien Vili Hicks to Samoa.
2. (U) Embassy understands that country clearance is the only
assistance required at this time.
3. (SBU) Embassy point of contact is RSO James Doherty.
Contact details are as follows:
4. (SBU) All TDY visitors to Embassy Wellington who stay over 5 days
are required to report to the Regional Security Office for a
security briefing if they have not completed an approved overseas
personal security training course.
5. (U) Visitors should use local taxi service, which is generally
safe, reliable and frequent. Taxi fare from the airport to downtown
Wellington hotels is approximately 30 NZD. A commercial shuttle
service is also offered at the airport. Taxi fare from the airport
to downtown Auckland hotels is approximately NZD55-NZD65. A
commercial shuttle service is also offered at the Auckland airport.
6. (U) Travelers can exchange currency at the airport upon arrival
and ATM machines are readily available throughout New Zealand.
Check cashing privileges at the Embassy are restricted to traveler's
checks only up to USD100.00. Personal checks will not be accepted.
7. (SBU) Biosecurity Fines:
The Government of New Zealand instituted fines for non-declared
biosecurity hazards on travelers entering New Zealand with
undeclared plant, animal or food material.
Travelers found carrying these undeclared items will be immediately
fined NZD200.00 (USD150.00). Biosecurity is a serious issue in New
Zealand and fines will be administered immediately and without
8. (SBU) Security Information:
a. (SBU) All U.S. citizen personnel serving under the Chief of
Mission authority in a temporary status of 30 days or more must
complete appropriate overseas personal security training prior to
travel (04 State 66580). Employees who have completed the Security
Overseas Seminar course at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) after
June 1, 2000, meet this requirement. All other TDY personnel must
either (1) complete the approved seminar at FSI entitled "Serving
Abroad for Families & Employees" (SAFE), or (2) have their agency
certify to the Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security
that the employee has undergone equivalent security training. The
contact for this training is Assistant Director for Training at
(703) 205-2617. Country clearance will not be granted for any
traveler with planned TDY in excess of 30 days if this information
is not stated/certified. POC for additional information is RSO
b. (SBU) The U.S. Mission in New Zealand currently rates the threat
from transnational and indigenous terrorism as low. There are no
terrorist groups or support groups believed to be operating in New
Zealand at this time. In light of the worldwide security alert all
visitors should heighten their security awareness and report any
unusual incidents to the Regional Security Officer.
c. (SBU) Anonymous telephonic threats and obscure threat mail have
occasionally targeted U.S. diplomatic missions in New Zealand. In
response to U.S. policies and actions, various groups in New Zealand
have demonstrated occasionally at the Embassy in Wellington and at
the Consulate in Auckland. These demonstrations are usually small
and are peacefully conducted. During these demonstrations, the host
country police and protective services normally provide adequate
protection to the Embassy and Consulate.
d. (SBU) New Zealand has a medium threat crime environment. As such,
Wellington and Auckland have experienced an increase in violent and
petty crimes, but they are usually non-confrontational in nature.
However, home invasion robberies and assaults, once very rare, are
becoming more frequent. Burglaries and thefts occur countrywide but
primarily in the large cities of Auckland, Christchurch and
WELLINGTON 00000608 002 OF 002
Wellington, and visitors should be especially aware that street
crime, such as scams and pickpockets is a daily occurrence in these
cities. Common sense precautions should be taken, especially at
night, to avoid becoming a target of opportunity.
e. (SBU) Generally, New Zealand does not play a significant role in
the world drug situation; however, evidence indicates that New
Zealand has been utilized as a transit point for shipments of
Ecstasy, Heroin and Cocaine to Australia. The most abused drug in
New Zealand is locally produced methamphetamine and cannabis. There
have been increased amounts of lab seizures and violent crime
associated with groups attempting to control this market.
f. (U) All forms of public transportation are generally safe at all
times of the day; however, at night visitors should use common sense
precautions so as to not become a target of opportunity.
g. (U) The traffic situation in Auckland can be difficult with a
moderate amount of congestion. Wellington and
Christchurch traffic is significantly better; however, during rush
hour moderate delays can be expected. Visitors are advised that
traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. Visitors are
advised that traffic accidents are common and that it is safe to
pull over so that police may take an accident report. However,
visitors who experience hostility or anti-American sentiment should
depart the scene immediately and notify the RSO.
h. (U) Travelers intending to bring and use any USG provided
electronic or photographic equipment must contact the RSO prior to
introducing that equipment into the Chancery. Personal electronic or
photographic equipment is not permitted in the Chancery. Only in
severely limited cases will a notebook or laptop be permitted to be
used in the Chancery or connected to Wellington's LAN.
i. (U) Precautions should also be taken to not discuss sensitive or
classified information outside secure environments or over unsecured
and/or cellular telephones, and to securely safeguard classified or
sensitive information at the Chancery and not at hotels or
j. (U) Visitors should also be aware of the State
Department's Consular Information sheet for New Zealand and the most
recent Worldwide Caution Public Announcements, which are available
via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
k. (U) In essence, visitors to New Zealand must exercise appropriate
caution and be alert to their surroundings with regard to their
personal security. Suspicious incidents/activities should be
reported to RSO Wellington (Telephone (64)(4)462-6000, 24